7 Tips for Networking on Social Media
These days, a blend of traditional and online marketing is the key to professional success. Modern networking is always evolving, but a lot of it is now taking place over social media. If you’re trying to find a job or promote your project or business, social media networking can be a crucial tool to connecting with the right people.
Networking online gives you an almost unlimited opportunity to connect with people in your field or area of interest. With about 74% of adults in the United States using some form of social media, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll make some fruitful connections—if you know how to go about networking online properly. Here are 7 tips for maximizing your networking success on social media platforms.
1. Strive for Quality
How many friends do you have? Not connections, not acquaintances, but real friends that you trust and spend time with? Probably not that many. Most of us know that having a low number of high-quality friendships is more satisfying than having a large number of low-quality friendships.
The same principles apply in social media networking. You can make any number of low-quality connections over social media in a week, but they probably won’t be quality connections. Aim to connect with a smaller number of people with whom you can see creating meaningful relationships with, rather than trying to reach as many people as possible.
2. Set Short & Long-Term Goals
Networking is an ongoing process, and like any professional activity, the best results come when you have clear goals and work consistently toward achieving them. Giving yourself both short-term and long-term goals will help you stay motivated and prevent you from getting discouraged as you reach for your long-term goals.
Make sure your goals are based on your actions, not on things that are out of your control or you can’t guarantee. For example: “get three job offers this month” isn’t a good goal because it’s completely out of your control. Goals based on a number of connections, however, are directly related to the work and time you put in.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Aim High
You may not be very far into your career, but that doesn’t mean you need to restrict yourself to low-level contacts. If you think a CEO is never going to connect with you, then they definitely won’t—because you’ll never work up the courage to reach out! You never know who might respond to your networking attempts. Go for some big shots! Create a compelling message and be genuine. Many people at the top are warmer and more willing to connect than you might think.
4. Be Authentic
There’s nothing worse than connecting with someone who isn’t being sincere or authentic. Don’t let that person be you! Always stay true to yourself when you’re connecting with others, and never say something you don’t believe. Good contacts for you are those who are interested in your authentic self.
5. Leverage Social Tools
Always keep your social media accounts up to date, and close the ones you aren’t using. It’s important for contacts to see a consistent message across your networks. You can leverage these social tools to your advantage, using them to showcase your talents and experience while communicating your personality.
Social media can be a great way to meet contacts, but the networking you do on these platforms doesn’t have to stay on-screen. Once you’ve connected with someone, you may eventually want to meet in person to form a deeper professional relationship.
6. Join Specialized Networks
One of the best ways to make high-quality connections is to join specialized networks for people in your field or area of interest. You’ll be able to ask questions, engage, and eventually get to know the other members of the group. Then, if an opportunity comes up, you’ll have the knowledge and connections to be first in line.
7. Use Mobile Helpers
Sometimes, it can be tough keeping track of your profiles, and forgetting to respond to a question or engage can set you back in networking. Try using mobile helpers to send you alerts and help you manage your network. These tools are customizable and can make networking a breeze.
Engagement is Key
Just like in traditional networking, if you don’t engage on social media, you won’t get noticed. If you’re afraid of putting yourself out there, that’s completely normal. It’s not comfortable to be vulnerable and make connections with strangers. Pushing past that fear to engage and make connections can lead to some big rewards, however—both personally and professionally.